The subject of air pollution is a very popular matter these days. Some people deny global warming, some think it might not be as bad and others demand immediate measures to be taken. No matter which side you might be on, air pollution is mostly agreed upon as something that exists. As it is actually visible, drive by a factory where huge plumes of white pollute the sky or see a car rev its engine in winter when it’s cold, for example. Even just the white of our breaths in winter. Countless tests on illnesses are being done with air pollution as a big factor. There are also some which link ailments of the body and mind with pollution. The WHO (World Health Organization) and Environment International for example conducted two of these studies. The results are pretty much the same: People, especially young children, are affected by air pollution, which is troubling to say the least.
The WHO concluded that air pollution impacts neurodevelopment plus cognitive ability. It can also serve as a trigger for asthma and childhood cancer. Moreover, the children who have been exposed to elevated levels of air pollution could be more likely to get chronic diseases like cardiovascular afflictions later in their life.
Environment International conducted their research with children, linking it with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). They stated that the risk of kids exposed to high levels of air pollution developing ASD would be raised to 78% compared to a child who only experienced low levels. (InternationalEnvironment, 2018)
Children naturally breathe more rapidly than adults, causing them to absorb more pollutants than their already grown up counterparts. They also spend the time where their brains and bodies are still rapidly developing lower to the ground, where contaminants are more concentrated. Especially when polluting fuels or other technologies for cooking, lighting and heating are regularly used within their home, they are more susceptible to household air pollution. Think of fireplaces, tobacco smoke, kerosene heaters, gas stoves, equipment powered by gasoline, candles, incense.